No. 4: Boca Raton Bowl Blowout
BOCA RATON – FAU hadn’t been to a bowl game since winning the 2008 Motor City Bowl, so most any late December game would have been eagerly welcomed by FAU fans.
Howard Schnellenberger Field on the campus of Florida Atlantic served as the host for the Boca Raton Bowl since the game’s inception in 2014.
As FAU waited on Dec. 4 to learn its bowl assignment, playing in the Owls home stadium wasn’t their first desire. The Owls wanted to go somewhere new and play the best competition available. Doing so would essentially double the school’s national television exposure. The football team would be on television one night and, as Boca Raton Bowl host, the university would be on display another night.
That didn’t happen.
Conference USA and its bowl partners ultimately paired FAU with Mid-American Conference runner-up Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl. While disappointed at first, FAU made the most of the situation.
The Bowl’s supporting events featuring coaches Lane Kiffin and Terry Bowden entertained. While FAU players didn’t get a new out-of-town experience, they did enjoy the Boca Bowl events held in Palm Beach County places they don’t often see.
And when it came time for the game, FAU capped the best season in program history with a 50-3 blowout of Akron that let the nation see what Kiffin had built in his first year.
What We Wrote
- Lukewarm Reception for FAU’s Boca Bowl Bid
- Owls Want to Prove They Are a Top 25 Team
- FAU Looking For Fast Start Against Akron
- FAU Blows Out Akron, Says It Will Extend Kiffin’s Contract
- Four Down Territory: Boca Bowl Edition
Why It’s Important
Returning FAU to bowl eligibility was an early goal for Kiffin, and he accomplished that one rather quickly.
While the Owls weren’t initially excited to play at home for their bowl game, in many ways doing so worked out quite well. The Boca Raton Bowl was the only game on television that night, thereby exposing FAU to a national audience of college football fans.
The Owls also never needed the adjustment period teams often encounter early in bowl games. And there was little doubt which team the Boca Bowl crowd supported.
FAU put on a show that Tuesday night. The Owls never trailed, led 21-3 at the half, added 29 more points in the second half and kept the Zips out of the end zone all night.
Devin Singletary showed a national audience who had maybe heard of him but never seen him play that the hype was deserved, rushing for his 30th, 31st and 32nd touchdowns of the year as part of a 124-yard night.
Quarterback Jason Driskel threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more in what turned out to be the final game of his FAU career.
The Owls rolled to 582 yards of total offense while their dominating defense limited Akron to 146 total yards.
Akron wasn’t the ideal opponent in that the Zips didn’t have the talent to play with FAU, but the Owls extended their undefeated record in bowl games to 3-0, and for the first time in program history FAU fans capped a football season by celebrating on their home field.
FAU concluded the season by winning its final 10 games, positioning the program as one of the favorites to grab the Group of Five spot in a New Year’s Day bowl next season.
No. 10: Construction Begins on Schmidt Complex
No. 9: Stranded in Wisconsin
No. 8: Curry Out, May In
No. 7: Constant QB Battle
No. 6: Change at the Top
No. 5: Baseball Keeps Rolling
No. 4: Boca Bowl Bliss
No. 3: Motor’s Historic Run
No. 2: Conference USA Title Time
No. 1 : The Lane Train Express